That planned park across from the new Vikings stadium in Minneapolis’ Downtown East neighborhood won’t have firepits–darn. Also, the fundraising effort for it is short by about $10 million dollars, out of about $22 million dollars that the Downtown Council and others have been looking for to fund this here park:
Yesterday, the Star Tribune reported that some parts of the park are probably going to be deferred until more money is found:
A proposal unveiled Friday to hold off on the construction of two buildings, lawn-side terraces and a water plaza signaled a note of caution in the city’s goals to construct a unique attraction in an up-and-coming corner of downtown. The park matter has taken on growing urgency at City Hall, since a preliminary version of the space will open this summer.
We’ll still get the road through it! Also, in unrelated news, construction just started on the $10 million dollar pedestrian bridge from the Vikings stadium to the Downtown East METRO station.
Where might we find $10 million American dollars in this economy? Seems like a lot of money to me, a person who spent $40 on Powerball tickets last week and is now writing any blog post. Some local businesses like Target and Best Buy have already made donations to the park fundraising effort, as have the Minnesota Vikings. The City of Minneapolis has also contributed funds, but has been hesitant to put in more without identifying things like “who’s going to own and manage the park.”
Looking at glass skyscrapers filled with lots of successful businesses two nights ago while riding a train through Downtown Minneapolis, I thought it might be kind of fun to add up some local corporate profits and see how much some of these businesses could ostensibly toss at a park, if they wanted to!
There are 16 Fortune 500 companies based in the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area–we do pretty well there. I went through Fortune’s website and added up the profits (not just revenue, their actual profits!) and it turns out that they made about $26.45 billion during the fiscal year Fortune used for their 2015 list. Not bad! Target’s negative $1.63 billion drug it down a bit, but United Health Group’s positive $5.61 billion and a similar amount from US Bancorp more than made up for it.
Let’s get a pie chart in here:
The park funding shortfall there is in green, the color the park may largely be, ultimately. This is a little unfair, though–some of those companies are based as far away as Plymouth, Minnesota, and even in St. Paul over in neighboring Ramsey County. How about only considering Minneapolis-based Fortune 500 companies? They made a mere $7.6 billion in 2015.
Also fun to note that Wells Fargo–who has built two office buildings across 4th Street from the park and, in the short-term, will probably benefit from its presence more than anyone other than the Vikings–is not headquartered in Minnesota. They made $23 billion dollars last year, which sounds like a lot.